In South Korea, through a partnership with HullWiper Korea, which is based at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University in Busan, the company is providing hull cleaning solutions to vessels calling at all the country’s main ports including Busan, Ulsan, Pohang, Masan, Jinhae, Yeosu and Gwangyang.
By deploying two ROVs simultaneously, HullWiper can save time for shipowners and operators. To meet that requirement, HullWiper Korea has designed and developed Esther, a vessel that can transport two ROV units to required locations. According to HullWiper, the combination of the fast-moving Esther transport vessel and the two ROVs enable a Capesize vessel’s hull to be cleaned within eight hours.
Recent hull cleans for vessels, currently in cold and hot lay ups in South Korean waters due to the pandemic, have shown remarkable results in terms of fuel savings once they are reactivated after being cleaned, the company says.
“Extending the HullWiper family into Korea makes perfect sense,” says Simon Doran, managing director of HullWiper. “Korea is a major location for all types of shipping and supporting our principals with the option of another location increases our global footprint and helps them reach their sustainability targets.”
In another initiative, HullWiper has recently launched a self-contained 40ft container to provide a mobile solution to meet the needs of operators in Namibian ports. The customised container includes a fully functioning engine room, workshop and control area where trained technicians can work. The air-conditioned unit is being stored in the port of Walvis Bay from where it can be deployed more widely across Namibia as required.
Doran adds: “Research and development is an ongoing, vital part of our business and some changes made for this operation include an upgraded controller with updated software, as well as changing our umbilical reel from one that is electrically driven to hydraulically powered, to make it more reliable and robust.”
HullWiper provides environmentally friendly and safe hull cleaning to vessels calling at its various operational bases, through lease agreement programmes with partners in their respective countries. Since it was launched in 2013, HullWiper has expanded from its first base in Dubai to locations across the Middle East as well as ports in Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Gibraltar, Mauritius, Norway, Panama, Singapore and Sweden. The system is also available for lease in those locations where it does not have its own base.
Doran concludes: “The maritime community has experienced supply chain breakdowns and global economic downturns due to the pandemic. Sadly, HullWiper was not immune to that as our new locations in Korea and Sri Lanka, initially planned for the end of 2020, were delayed to the first quarter of 2021.
“Despite these challenges, we have continued to deliver hull cleaning solutions in ports around the world and we expect continued growth in volumes over the coming months as we attend to vessels including cruise liners that are currently laid up or sitting idle. Client feedback is always positive due to the huge benefits that get from using the HullWiper system.”